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Usenet News - Pine is a Newsreader

8.1 How can I use Pine for reading and posting Internet News?

This section was formerly part of the document Secrets of Pine.

Versions before Pine 3.9 were capable of reading Internet newsgroups (Usenet), but the ability to post messages to these newsgroups, or subscribe to them, was added in Pine 3.90.

It is possible that your system manager has configured Pine so that everyone on the system automatically has access to news. You can check this by looking for a news folder collection at the end of your FOLDER LIST for versions up to and including 3.96 (in version 4, COLLECTION LIST) - if it's _not_ there, you will need to tell Pine the name of your local news server. Here are the steps:

  1. Choose the "S Setup" command from the [M]AIN MENU.
  2. Select "C Config".
  3. Use the down-arrow-key to select the option nntp-server.
  4. Press "A Add Value" to this option. Type in the name of the news server for your site, then press Return. You will need to get this information from your local computing/network support staff. A typical news server name would be: "news.nowhere.edu" (this one is fictional).
  5. Press "E Exit Setup, save your modifications; you are returned to the MAIN MENU.
  6. Press "Q" to Quit Pine; then restart Pine. This is necessary to have the above configuration change take effect.
  7. After restarting Pine, choose the FOLDER LIST screen by pressing "L LstFldrs" from the [M]AIN MENU.
  8. Select "News-collection" (you can press the spacebar to move to the news-collection, which will be the last item in the FOLDER LIST (COLLECTION LIST in Pine 4) screen.)
  9. Press Return if you see: [ Select Here to See Expanded List ]. If you have used a different newsreader previously, you probably already have a news subscription file with your favorite newsgroups listed. If not, you need to add some...
  10. Press "A Add" to add more news groups to your news subscription file. If you know the name of the group you wish to subscribe to, enter it at the prompt and press Return; otherwise, use the "^T To All Grps" command. Select the desired group and press Return. Repeat to add more groups.
  11. Once you have newsgroups displayed in the FOLDER LIST, you may select them just like mail folders.

In order to remain compatible with other news readers, Pine uses the same news subscription file (".newsrc" in the Unix version). However, this file can record very little message state information. The "Deleted" flag is the only message status flag that is preserved between sessions.

When you reply to a news message, Pine will ask if you want to post the reply to the listed Newsgroups. When the current folder is a newsgroup and you enter the Composer, Pine will ask if you want to post to the current newsgroup. Even if you say "no", you may manually enter a newsgroup name, after exposing that header in the Composer by pressing ^R. (There is also an optional feature, compose-sets-newsgroup-without-confirm you can set in SETUP CONFIGURATION to suppress this prompt if you'd like Pine to assume that you want to Post whenever invoking the composer while reading a newsgroup folder.)

Here are some additional hints about using Pine for newsreading:

If you are searching for newsgroups in subject areas of your interest, check the directories of USENET newsgroups.


8.2 How can I sort newsgroups by thread?

Beginning in Pine 4.30, the tHread sort option is available. In Pine's message index, press $ SortIndex" followed by "H tHread".

In previous versions, a sort by Ordered Subject provides "pseudo" threading of messages by grouping messages with the same subject name together and putting them into date order. Pine ignores leading "Re:" and "re:" and trailing "(fwd)" when determining the order of subject lines. In Pine's message index, press "$ SortIndex" followed by "O OrderedSubj".


8.3 How do I mark all messages in a newsgroup as "read" or "deleted"?

First, you need to make sure that you have access to all the commands necessary.

From the [M]AIN MENU, choose [S]etup and then [C]onfig, then make sure that there are 'X' marks next to these two options:

           [X]  enable-aggregate-command-set
           [X]  enable-flag-cmd

To mark all messages as "read" or "deleted" press and release each of the following:

        ; = Select
        a = All
        a = Apply
        * = Flag

which will bring you to the FLAG MAINTENANCE screen (if you do not have enable-flag-screen-implicitly set in SETUP CONFIGURATION, select "^T To Flag Details" to reach it now):

Set desired flags for current message below. An 'X' means set it, and a ' ' means to unset it. Choose "E Exit Flags" when finished.

=============================================================================
            Set        Flag Name
            ---   ----------------------
            [ ]  Important
            [X]  New
            [ ]  Answered
            [ ]  Deleted


        ? Help  E Exit Flags    P Prev  - PrevPage      Y prYnt
                X [Set/Unset]   N Next  Spc NextPage    W WhereIs
=============================================================================

Using the arrow keys, move down to "New" and press "X" until it looks like this:

=============================================================================
            Set        Flag Name
            ---   ----------------------
            [ ]  Important
            [ ]  New
            [ ]  Answered
            [ ]  Deleted
=============================================================================

Note: if you want to delete all the messages, the process is the same except at this point you should use the arrow keys to move down to "Deleted" and press "X" until it looks like this:

=============================================================================
            Set        Flag Name
            ---   ----------------------
            [ ]  Important
            [ ]  New
            [ ]  Answered
            [X]  Deleted
=============================================================================

To Exit: Press "E Exit Flags" as seen at the bottom menu.

Power Tip: To select and delete all the messages in a mailbox or newsgroup press and release each of the following:

        ; = Select
        a = All
        a = Apply
        d = Delete

8.4 How do I bring back (undelete) news messages I have deleted?

The unexclude command will view all available messages in a newsgroup. This includes messages that have been previously Deleted and Expunged/Excluded. The unexclude command is activated by pressing Ampersand (&).

One difference between news and (personal) mail folders, while you can mark News messages Deleted, unlike mail folders you may not actually eXpunge them from the newsgroup folder, since the messages reside on a shared server. Instead, you may remove them from your own view, using the "X eXclude" command.

More Info: If unexcluding messages does not reveal the desired messages, it is likely they were removed from the news server, since old posts are periodically removed. Many newsgroups are archived and available via the World Wide Web.

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